Crucial test

Packers, Titans take 1-3 records into game

Associated Press

GREEN BAY, Wis. -- The Green Bay Packers and Tennessee Titans insist tonight's matchup between desperate, disappointing 1-3 teams has lost none of its luster.

It's certainly increased in importance for two teams who had visions of competing for a championship and who are unaccustomed to facing also-ran status just as the leaves are beginning to fall.

"It makes for a good game, that's what it makes for," Titans receiver Derrick Mason said. "Two teams that should be 3-1 instead of 1-3. Two teams at the beginning of the season people were saying these are Super Bowl contending teams. Not to say we aren't now because we still have a long season."


It could be a very long season for either or both, regardless of what happens.

But the winner will at least have put a halt to a three-game losing streak.

The Titans and Packers haven't won since opening weekend because they can't stop the run or move the ball. Their notoriously tough-man quarterbacks are banged up and several key starters are on the sidelines.

Steve McNair is expected to return tonight after missing Tennessee's last game with a bruised chest. Brett Favre will extend his NFL record streak with his 213th straight start, counting playoffs, even though he was knocked out of his second straight game last week, this time with a mild concussion.

Favre also skipped practice Saturday to attend the funeral of his 24-year-old brother-in-law, who died in an ATV accident on the Favre family home in Mississippi.

Favre has a long history of playing well through adverse times -- he threw for nearly 400 yards and four TDs in a crucial win at Oakland last year a day after his father died -- and is 7-2 in games following serious injuries in his career.

Doubts about salvaging the season will loom larger for whichever team leaves Lambeau Field 1-4.

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